The Crazys/Adjusting & Grieving

Destynee was severely colicky, had acid reflux, still on oxygen (which she hated), and had a very hard time sleeping. I didn’t get to recover in bed with my baby for two weeks, like most moms. I was busy traveling back and forth to the hospital while she was still in. Because of the antibiotics I was on, I threw-up for a month. I didn’t sleep for weeks. While she was in the hospital, I was pumping my nipples inside out every two hours trying to get any milk I could, and when we were home, she cried most nights from the colic. The damn oxygen alarm would go off every time she moved when she was asleep. To put it simply, I still had the crazys.

I was so worried that my baby would have to go back to the hospital and be taken away from me again. It was also around RSV season, so I struggled letting almost anybody hold her. I was a basket-case. I didn’t know how to be a new mother, deal with the crazys, and grieve my loss at the same time. I still struggled with the thoughts of leaving Gordon, so he could find someone better. He reminded me that leaving was not the answer and would not fix anything. He continued to support me in ways that cannot be measured.

I can’t begin to explain how I felt about myself and my life. I didn’t feel like a woman, but I certainly didn’t feel like a man. I didn’t know who or what I was…..My whole life I had wanted only one thing, a big family. I couldn’t see past that. That is all I have ever known…My family and siblings are where my friends and support came from…. And now I could never give my precious angel, Destynee, one of the most important gifts in my life (siblings). I could not see or even dream of my future…. Or Gordon and Destynee’s……I shattered my whole family’s hopes and dreams. I took it all away….I was the defect. It was the biggest burden I had ever experienced. I felt responsible for ruining their lives.

Advertisements

Postpartum/Depression

Before I was discharged, Dr. Draper sat my husband and I down. He explained, that after everything I had been thru, I had a 96% chance of having severe depression, not just postpartum depression. He gave us specific signs to watch for, and instructed Gordon to watch me very closely. When someone goes into depression that fast, they can’t tell that they are acting or being any different, so it’s important that someone who knows them really well, be aware of subtle signs.

I was cautious and aware of my thoughts and actions. Once a week, a very special social worker would come to the NICU, and talk to me about how I was coping with everything. I was determined to stay in good health for my new baby and my husband. I talked to her about everything, I mean everything…As the weeks went on, I felt less and less okay….

I would spend several days constantly crying. It didn’t matter what I was doing or who I was with, I would cry from the time I woke up, to the time I went to bed. Half the time, I couldn’t even figure out what the hell I was crying about…It was exhausting beyond belief!

I had been in the hospital for three months, still had a baby in the NICU, lost the dream of ever having more children, and recovering from an intense surgery. I felt like I lost my womanhood. I wasn’t sure who I was, and I was very sure that I was crazy…

I often wondered if I was really a mother, if she was MY baby, and what I was still doing there…..I had decided that Gordon deserved a real woman, one who could have more children for him and build his family. I decided that the best thing for them, was me leaving so Gordon could find someone better….I knew that I would have to leave my whole family and never come back…I contemplated it for several days. Inside, I knew it wasn’t the right thing to do, but more times than not, my right was overruled by the crazys….There was a few days, that I would drive past the hospital. I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew I was going. Several miles past the hospital, I was redirected by God. I was confused as to what I was doing, but my better self knew that my family needed me. My sweet angel still in the NICU; I couldn’t leave her NOW….

When I was having a good day, I knew it was important to tell the social worker and Gordon the thoughts I was having and the actions I had followed through with. The social worker told me that she was actually relieved to know what I was thinking. She said it was a good sign, so I kept telling them. Gordon, on the other hand, was more freaked-out than ever.

Not Enough Milk, Time, or Strength

I had a really hard time getting my milk in, and what I did get, was a few drops after pumping for 20 minutes straight. Between getting my rest, and pumping (what seemed like constantly), I only had enough strength to go see my baby about once a day. Every day, I felt like a failure, and I wondered if Destynee was getting everything she needed. My heart was struggling, I couldn’t hold any food down, and I had a bowel obstruction that they thought they might have to do surgery on.
I was torn between surviving and being a mother…….

Gordon was doing an excellent job at giving both of us everything he possibly could, physically and emotional.

Barely Surviving

After about two days, the nurses made me get up. They wanted to monitor my weight. I was so swollen from my heart, that I weighed more than when I was pregnant. They were giving me lasix (a diuretic), but were very worried about my heart and kidneys.
I got up, but couldn’t walk much. I was excited to be able to see my baby whenever I wanted. I had only seen her once, and she was three days old. I felt like such a bad mom….

Gordon took me in a wheelchair, down to the NICU. I could stand up to see my precious baby for about five minutes, and then could sit in the chair for about a half an hour. I couldn’t see her very well sitting, but it felt good to be near her. They wouldn’t let us hold her….I often wondered if she was really mine….I stared at her, wondering if I would ever be able to hold her and take care of her like my motherly instincts desperately wanted to. Through the tubes and wires, I watched her closely for each breath.

When I got back from seeing her the first day, I told the nurses that I wanted to go down at least five times a day…..I made it ONCE…… I couldn’t pull strength from anywhere. It devastated me….. It felt as though both of us were barely surviving:(

Reality or Denial?

The first few days, I was pretty out of it. I remember waking up and telling Gordon, “the baby’s moving again, come feel”. I thought that I was still pregnant. When they would tell me I had the baby, I remember wondering where she was and why she wasn’t with me. Gordon would gently remind me that I already had her, that she was doing good, and he would show me pictures of her. I felt confused, like there were pieces of the puzzle missing?????

He was worried that I wasn’t dealing with the reality of what had happened.

Mommy and Baby Bonding/The Gift of Love

It was killing me not to be able to see my baby, and at the same time, I did not realize how long it had been. All I knew was that I still hadn’t seen my angel. Destynee wasn’t doing well, and neither was I.

The NICU nurses started getting very concerned, because she started going down hill again and they didn’t know why. One of them made it very clear, that she thought that Destynee desperately needed to bond with her mommy. They knew I wasn’t strong enough to walk or even get into a wheelchair.


I remember being so excited, and at the same time, scared to death to see her. I didn’t know if I was mentally or emotionally strong enough to see her. I wanted to be strong for her, and I just wasn’t.

I wanted so bad to hold her, and tell her everything was going to be okay…..She looked so fragile, I barely dared to touch her……. After I left, I felt stronger, yet more torn than ever. I couldn’t bare to be away from her, but I had no choice. I knew that we both had a long way to go before we could really be there for each other.

Gordon came back about an hour later, and excitedly told me, that she was drastically doing better and that her heart calmed right down. The NICU nurses were amazed!!! She stabilized moments after I touched her, and she started progressing rapidly.

Gordon was our sticky glue that kept us all together. He would run from my room, to the NICU and back, all day long. He was our ROCK.

The Traggic Loss/Hysterectomy

After about 8 hours, I was stable enough for Gordon to see me. He said he just sat by my side, watching me sleep. I woke up almost 16 hours later. I only remember bits and pieces of the next few days. Gordon, Dr. Draper, and my mom were standing around me. As Gordon grabbed my hand, I felt his warmness and strength. I remember thinking that he was going to have my baby there for me…..He waited until he could see that he had my full attention; I was in and out of it.

He looked deep into my eyes, and I could see the tragedy inside him. As he told me what had happened, I felt myself sink deep into an indescribable darkness. I wanted to go back to sleep, was very foggy, and hoped it was all a dream. I don’t remember showing much emotion, as I was numbed with pain.

Dr. Draper told Gordon he admired him for having the courage to tell me. He said that most men ask him to do it. Gordon said, he thought I might take it better from him. I could see that both of them wanted desperately to be there for me.